A man has spoken of his chronic pain amidst a long delay for a hip operation.
Richard Holmes from Dover suffers from severe osteoarthritis, and had his first operation in December.
Richard Holmes talks about his intense pain during lockdown
The second-stage hip replacement surgery was scheduled for March, but thanks to Covid-19 he is now in the dark as to when it'll actually take place.
The 49-year-old said: “I’ve not spoken to my consultant since my operation was cancelled. All I had was a brief phone call from my consultant’s department saying I’ll be ‘seen’ in October – that’s almost a year of waiting since being first told I needed the replacement.
"I’m in constant pain, and can already feel the pain creeping up in my other joints. On a day-to-day basis it’s grinding. Like a hot knife slicing through you.
"This has affected my whole life and I have no independence; I can barely walk beyond the garden path. I’ve been signed off work another two months and have no operation in sight”
A major poll comprising 6,000 people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions found 40% had been struggling to manage pain during the Covid-19 crisis.
Blamed on the large backlog the virus has caused, charity Versus Arthritis also revealed 40% of people with arthritis faced cancelled appointments during the pandemic, rising to 44% for those in chronic pain.
Half of all respondents said their pain barred them from being physically active or undertaking basic activities.
"On a day-to-day basis it’s grinding. Like a hot knife slicing through you..."
Versus Arthritis has already seen a 200% surge in calls for aid, and is warning that sufferers' health will deteriorate and cause a long-term problem for the National Health Service.
The group noted that even before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of patients waiting for hip or knee replacements was "reaching crisis point."
According to the charity, the number of patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment in May - 214,294 - was more than twice the number in May 2019 (81,240).